Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

July 23, 2012

Lawmaker says ‘Honest debate’ over pill mill bill

FRANKFORT — If you take Ambien for sleep problems or have a child who is prescribed Ritalin for more than three months, the state is going to track those prescriptions.

That’s not quite what House Bill 1 — the so-called “pill mill bill” passed in the June special session of the General Assembly — called for, but those are contained in emergency regulations filed Friday by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and boards regulating various medical providers. And not everyone is happy.

Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, the co-chairman of the HB 1 Implementation and Oversight Committee, said, “there’s an honest debate” about why the cabinet and various medical licensure boards wrote more expansive regulations that track all Schedule II and III drugs and 15 specific Schedule IV drugs. The statute only called for tracking Schedule II drugs and those Schedule III drugs which contain Hydrocodone. The law is intended to shut down cash pill mill clinics and address the “epidemic” of prescription drug abuse.

Among the 15 specified Schedule IV drugs are Ambien, a common sleep aid; Valium; Librium; anorexic drugs; and Soma. Tilley said those drugs are often abused and he understands why the cabinet and medical boards want to track them.

Ritalin, a drug commonly prescribed for patients with ADHD (Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder) is a schedule II drug.

The regulation proposed by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, exempts the initial prescription of Ritalin for patients under 18 from a Kentucky All-Substance Prescription Electronic Reporting system or KASPER report, according to KBML General Counsel Lloyd Vest.

But prescriptions for use beyond 30 days will be subject to KASPER notification and reporting.

For the full story, read Tuesday's print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.


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